Dear (insert teacher’s name),
It has been a while since I have talked to you. For all I know, you have no idea what I have been doing with my life since you were my teacher.
I am writing to say thank you. For what? For being my inspiration not to give up. I don’t think you know how much your words of encouragement helped me in pursuing my dreams.
Since I was your student I’ve had numerous jobs, and I’ve met many amazing people. I applied to universities and got accepted to every one. And I recently graduated, something I never thought I would accomplish.
When I first started in your class, I was a poor excuse for a student. You graded me harshly, and I thank you for that. You taught me how important it is to strive for excellence.
I want to thank you for forcing us all to learn public speaking skills when we were so young. I went from growing weak in the knees and sick to my stomach, to getting A’s in my college public speaking class. You taught me the importance of carrying myself with confidence. And you taught me how to face my fear and risk failing.
I want to thank you for all the encouraging notes you would write on my essays. You took the time to write notes of encouragement by hand, and that gave me hope to strive to be better.
You opened my eyes to my love of reading and writing, something I was completely unaware of before.
Throughout all of my college years, I have experienced professors who discouraged, belittled and tried to suck the excitement of learning out of their classrooms. I have experienced professors who were also encouraging. But I have never met a teacher who cared as much or loved teaching as much as you did.
Through your example, you taught me to do what I love everyday. You taught me to find a way, even if it is hard.
Although it has been a few years, I wanted to let you know that all the extra time you took to write encouraging notes and go out of your way for your students was not a waste.
Teachers have the power to encourage, discourage and shape the young minds of their students. They have the opportunity to help their students reach their greatest potential. And they have the opportunity to drive students away.
I have had experience with both. But I was also lucky enough to have one teacher who taught me how to strive for my dreams, how to push through when it’s hard, how to succeed and how to fail and how to dream.
This is a "thank you" to all the teachers out there who are encouragers and lovers of knowledge. You are greatly appreciated. You are the shapers of minds.
"Teacher, You Touched My Life"
It is because of you that I will, one day, be able to go on and become one amazing teacher. I thank you for that.
From the Teachers.Net Chatboard:
Look What A Student Wrote Me!
Posted by anonymous
It's the end of the school year! It's a time that I would normally be so anxiously awaiting; but not any more. For I know that by summer simply coming, I end up losing two of my greatest friends. You are one of them, and I'm pretty sure you can figure out the other.
The impact that you have had on me this year is inexplicable. You have affected and changed me in so many ways that it's hard to single a few out. Under your teaching, and your influence, I have become a kinder, nicer, and more caring person. I find that I am so much more thoughtful towards others and much less likely to judge.
You have changed the way that I think about mathematics. Sadly, I used to despise math, and it used to be my weakest subject. I just couldn't figure out how all those numbers really would take a role in my life, and after all they weren't anything important to me personally. Where would numbers get me? I now look forward to math class with great anticipation, and ever so infrequently do I get a problem incorrect. Through you I was able to acquire a love for math that I'm confident will continue to grow as I get older.
You have also changed the way that I think about myself. Through you I was able to obtain a higher self esteem and a higher opinion of myself. I am able to look into the mirror and for one of the first times ever, be proud of the person that I am. You believed in me, and that's all that I really needed. You took the time to care, and not only that, but you made sure that I knew you cared. That has made the difference.
You have changed the way that I think about teachers. Before you, I always respected my teachers, but I was never really aware of the amount of work a teacher puts into their job. Before this year, I never realized how much certain teachers cared, nor did I ever take the time to thank them. Before this year, I never really thought into the fact that a teacher was a person with a personality, and you could like the person that a teacher was and befriend them for it.
I wish that I could have seen this before, for I had so many great teachers before you, but I am glad that I was able to realize it for at least half of this year. It would have been a shame if I never would have seen it, for I truly would have missed out on some great friendships with some amazing people, including you.
I wanted you to realize though, that without you, I never would have seen any of this. Without you, I would not be the person that I am today.
I also wanted to tell you, even though it is incredibly hard to write this, that you have done even more. Around the beginning of the year, I began to fall into a deep depression. I began to feel as if nobody cared, as if I wasn't even wanted in this world. I felt as if I wasn't worth anything to anybody; that nobody would even notice if I was no longer here. During those times, what kept me going was the thought of Mrs. ***** and you because I knew at least you two cared.
Those nights, when I felt as if I was no longer wanted in this world, I would call the homework hotline, dial 646, and simply listen. I'm aware that this sounds corny, and I feel unintelligent writing this, but hearing your voice was enough to tell me that, at least if no body else did, you wanted to see me the following day. And when I would walk into class the next day, although you had no idea of what you had done for me the night before, you would smile and greet me, only confirming my belief.
I'm intelligent enough to realize that you greet almost every student and that you didn't treat me differently or most likely even think of me differently than others, but for me it meant everything. I felt as if these greetings, the smiles, and the comments were a way of you communicating to me that I was your favorite, and although these thoughts were way off and quite selfish, they were the thoughts that kept me alive. It was because you took the time to show that you cared, that I was well aware of it.
At times, I truthfully believed that you (along with Mrs. *****) were the only ones there for me; but you were enough to save my life. If it weren't for you, showing how much you cared, being there for me, and simply doing your job to the best of your abilities, I probably wouldn't be alive today. You saved my life. I can never repay you for that; even these measly thoughts barely express the amount of gratitude I owe you. It is because of you that I will, one day, be able to go on and become one amazing teacher. I thank you for that.
Beyond simply saving my life though, you have touched it. You have changed the way I think and the person that I am. You have done all of this by only doing your job. So if you ever think that you don't matter or that you don't make a difference, think again. You have most definitely made the difference to me, upon what I'm sure are many others. Although, I have stated this before� I admire you, for you are an excellent teacher. You do everything an average teacher does, which in itself can drive a person insane; and yet you still do so much more. You look to each student as if they are an equal; never really looking down on them, treating them with respect even though you were the one that deserved it.
You care about every student, and you are able to see the positive in every child that walks into your room. You try and motivate and inspire every student, never giving up, and in many cases because of your perseverance you succeed.
You are never afraid to be funny, or to be yourself in front of a class, and students appreciate that. Learning to be yourself is one of the first steps in becoming an outstanding teacher, and you have conquered that already. Your students like you, not only because you are a good teacher, but because you reflect your personality in your teaching, they are able to also like you for the person that you are.
Because of all this mentioned, I can never repay you. I could not simply buy you a gift and figure well that's it. I will never forget you. You are the teacher that made the difference, the teacher that inspired me, and the teacher that saved my life.
I will never forget, although you may have already, the one day when you made a comment to me that went something like this, "I wish I would have had a daughter, for then she could be as sweet as you." I wanted to let you know that, in many ways, you have become somewhat of a surrogate mother to me this year. The manner in which you nurtured, cared, and looked after me this year has meant so much, for I rarely see my own mother. She is often not home when I am, for her strenuous work schedule is to blame.
The comment mentioned above also meant so much to me, for if you, a truly kind, caring, and remarkable person, could say that I am sweet than you must really see something in me. And that got me thinking, if I respect you and admire you so much, and you are able to make remarks like that to me, then I must be special too.
You will forever remain my role model, most likely for the remainder of my life. I am confident that I will never forget you--even in the depths of my most troubled times. You will forever remain in my memories as the extraordinarily astonishing person you are, never to be faded or rubbed away.
I am crying as I write this, for I know that this is the end of a friendship--or maybe not. It might only be the beginning, for who knows what the Lord has in store. I can make one promise to you that I will never break, even when I am wrinkled and tired, whenever you need somebody, I will be there. Whenever you may happen to look skyward and think of me, I can promise you that no matter where I am I will be thinking of you too.
I will never forget all that you have done. I will never forget your presence, your existence, or your memory. I will never forget all that you have taught me, both mathematical and otherwise. I will never forget you. I can now say, with all honestly, after I've poured my heart and soul out onto paper, that I love you. I love you, and I always will.
Your Student, Friend, Admirer, & Fan
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